Football fans have urged the home-based Super Eagles to keep up the momentum after defeating their Republic of Niger counterparts 4-1 at the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Kigali, Rwanda.
The fans who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos described the win at the Stade de Kigali, Stadium as a good start for the team.
Joe Erico, a former assistant coach of the Super Eagles, told NAN that the Super Eagles performed credibly though their first half performance in the game was not so super.
“It was an expected result, playing against Niger is always a match we should dominate and come out with the necessary winning three points.
“However, it was a very good game and the players gave good account of themselves, especially Chiakarta Elvis who came in as a substitute to bang in three goals.
“They need to be more cautious in their defence as they meet other teams in their group.
“I congratulate Nigeria and I congratulate Coach Sunday Oliseh; I wish the team the best of luck in the competition,’’ Erico said.
Bright Omokaro, a former Super Eagles players commended the team for defeating their opponent in what he called “grand style’’.
Omokaro urged the players not to relent in their level of play against the team they will be confronting in their next match.
“The players started on a good note with this huge goal margin against Niger.
“I hope they will be able to maintain their level of play and improve where it is necessary in the next group match,’’ he said.
Kamiludeen Banjo, coach of the national deaf football team, expressed satisfaction with the team’s victory in the opening match.
Banjo advised the team not to be distracted by the victory it recorded against Niger and urged the players to redouble their efforts in the next match.
“We still have two group matches that will qualify us for the second round, so, the players should remain focus to achieve their target,” he said.
In the same vein, Festus Agu, a coach in Ajegunle, praised the team for their effort in grabbing the maximum three points at stake in the match.
Agu expressed confidence that the team would scale through the group stage of the tournament.
“The players played as a well-coordinated side and that earned them the victory which is a commendable thing,” he said.
A renowned sport analyst, Tayo Balogun, told NAN that the home-based Super Eagles played their hearts out in their opening match.
Balogun said that the opening goal brought about the best in the players.
“I must say that I am impressed by their style of play and the level of skills exhibited. This is a very good start.
“After the first goal they started playing counter attack which is European style of play.
“They maintained their positions all through the time of play and played as a team. None of them was after self-glory.
“This is a new team that is in its technical stage, undergoing a building process where everyone is trying to blend with one another,” he said.
The analyst, however, urged the Eagles’ handler, Sunday Oliseh, to exercise more patience with the team.
“To get the best out of them at this CHAN, he (Oliseh) will have to be more patient with the players.
“He should be meek and subtle with them because expectations are high from Nigerians and which not ought to be so,’’ Balogun said..
The President General, Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo, described the match as a good outing.
Ladipo said that the second half was indeed more eventful.
“In the first half, our opponents tried all their possible best to frustrate our players but I thank God we won it after all.
“The pep talks Oliseh gave the players and their adherence to it indeed yielded positive results.
“The result of the match also showed that we were a better side,” Ladipo said.
. He added that the match was just one of the many to be played and called for improvement in subsequent matches.
“We need to improve on our scoring abilities. They played well but most time, were always in off side position.
“They are not always calm when moving and that’s why scoring chances could not be converted to goals.
“If they were calmer, perhaps the match will have ended 6-1. I appreciate them for this wonderful stride in this match and wish them the best of luck throughout the tournament,’’ he said.
Jonathan Akpoborie, a Super Eagles ex-international, said that the team listened to their handlers and played as instructed.
“The boys did justice to the game. I am impressed with this game given the fact that it is our first game which has showed that they are ready for a win in the competition.
“They played as expected of them. They stood their grounds, they defended well, the midfield was not leaking and the excellent assist which led to the win crowned it all.
“The boys should not rest on their oars now that they have won this game but continue to win all the games,’’ he said.
“I am happy that the boys stunned the crowd with an impressive win. I was not expecting a hat trick but I was optimistic that we will win the game when I saw the way they played.
“This goes to show that we can achieve if we really put our minds to it. I give kudos to the coach and his technical crew for such brilliancy and teamwork.
“If we want to go ahead to win the competition, I urge that the boys to keep up with this pace that they have showed and I can assure them that they will win the competition.’’
Nigeria will play its next game against Tunisia in Group C in the Stade Regional Nyamirambo Stadium in Kigali and in their third encounter play Guinea.
Tunisia and Guinea finished 2-2 in the group’s opening match played earlier in the day.